This I Believe

Alicia - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on November 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

A week ago I attended the funeral of my best friends dad. He is the closest person I have known who has died and left me to deal with the reality of death. Not only did his death and the funeral remind me of the significance of life, love and laughter, but he was the one who instilled the value and importance of these words in my life. Thus I wholeheartedly believe in these three simple words: life, love and laughter.

Through this death I realized that life is about how you feel about yourself. Its what you say and what you mean. And it’s about whom you love and whom you hurt. But most of all life is about choosing to use your life to touch someone else in a way that could never have been achieved otherwise. My best friends father taught me to take advantage of every opportunity. That is why I believe you should live your life going wanting to put forth all of your effort.

My best friends family taught me the true meaning of love. I have never felt so welcome in a house other than my own as I did in theirs. I knew it was always open to me and they would support me in all of my decisions. And that is why this past week I had to attend this funeral in support my friend. In this way I was able to give back to her, what her father had taught me: to love unconditionally.

So I would stress don’t wait until a funeral or when someone actually needs you to show them you care for them and love them, let those you love, know on a daily basis that you care for them. Write them a simple note, give them a huge hug, or shoot them an unprovoked smile. For smiles seem to be so simple yet they are so contagious. A smile can easily turn into uncontrollable laughter. I know there is a time and place for sadness, but whenever I can I try and make myself and others laugh.

The evening after the funeral my friends and I were able to reminisce about our lives growing up. We had lived through so much together that this step was just one more we needed to take. And it made it possible for long lost friends to come back and laugh together, even in the sadness of the week’s events.

The healing power of laughter was contagious that evening for it brought together the lives that we have shared and the love that has kept our friendships alive. He was a man that I will always remember, one who encouraged me to live out my experiences, to love unconditionally, and to laugh even in the hardest of times. This I believe in life, love and laughter.